Nearly all children under 4 have used mobile devices, 77% of 2 year olds – U.S. study suggests…
Parents of four-year-olds from a low-income neighbourhood of Philadelphia have said in a survey that most of their children own mobile media devices, and now researchers who made that discovery say more study is urgently needed to draft guidelines for families.
As recently as 2013, studies pointed to a “digital divide” in ownership of devices such as tablets and smartphones based on income. To see if this gap persists, researchers surveyed parents of 350 children aged six months to four years.
“Our study found almost universal exposure, early adoption, and use of mobile media devices among young children in an urban, low-income, minority community,” lead author Dr. Hilda Kabali of Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia and her co-authors report in Monday’s issue of the journal Pediatrics
Currently, the American Academy of Pediatrics
, the journal’s publisher, advises eliminating screen time for children younger than two, because of concerns for how the use of the devices may delay how children learn language.
At age two, most children were using mobile devices daily and spending comparable amounts of time on television and mobile devices, the researchers found.For example, daily screen time in minutes for two-year-olds in the study was 44 minutes, time watching videos or TV shows on a mobile device was 29 minutes, and time spent using apps was 20 minutes.